In a move reminiscent of tax-reform activist Bob Schulz’s hunger strike in 2001, a 52-year-old woman has vowed not to eat – save for taking Holy Communion – until the federal government agrees to answer certain questions about the federal income tax system.

Rose Lear of Muskegon, Mich., has gone without food since March 4 and says she is willing to die unless the government comes through, according to a statement from Schulz’s organization, We the People.

“What else can I do?” said Lear in the statement. “I have tried everything else. Congressman [Pete] Hoekstra [R-Mich.] and State Senator VanWoerkom refuse to answer the questions. The IRS and the U.S. Department of Justice refuse to answer the questions. Attorneys are afraid to raise the questions in court for fear of being sanctioned or disbarred. …

“More and more people are learning about the legal evidence but are being abused by the courts, which appear to be in collusion with the IRS. Something is going terribly wrong with the justice system in America. We need to get to the truth,” said Lear.

The questions to which Lear refers concern various contentions made by the “tax honesty movement,” including that the 16th Amendment authorizing income tax was not properly ratified and that the federal IRS code does not require that Americans pay income tax.

According to the We the People website, Lear’s husband, William Wallace Lear, recently was convicted for willfully failing to file an income tax return. He was scheduled to begin a one-year sentence in federal prison last Monday.

In the case of Schulz, he ended a 20-day hunger strike in 2001 after IRS and Justice Department officials agreed to meet with him to answer his questions. Government officials later reneged, and We the People held its own congressional-hearing style forum in Washington, D.C. At the event, several expert tax attorneys and former IRS officials “testified” that the income tax was illegal, improperly levied and burdensome to Americans.

According to the statement, Lear is 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 100 pounds. She has placed a large sign in the picture window of her home, which reads: “Congressman Hoekstra: No Answers – No Taxes – No Food.”

Former IRS special agent Joseph Banister, who runs the website, has solicited support for Lear via e-mail, asking that people post signs in their windows in solidarity with the activist.

He also asks e-mail recipients to “pray for Rose and her husband, Bill, and pray that appropriate government officials do something to reverse the injustices perpetrated against them.”

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