Religious-based activist organizations involved in the ACWC included long-established groups such as the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Fellowship of Reconciliation, and new groups such as the Catholic based Religious Task Force on Central America (RTFCA), the Protestant based Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America (IRTFCA), and Witness for Peace (WFP).
Most peace groups joined the ACWC as the Contra war heated up in 1983 and 1984, but some were involved in the Central America movement from the start.
The central political goal of the ACWC, had in this light shown itself to be a workable liberal policy in the past, even if it seemed more radical in the Reagan era.
The ease with which the ACWC established common political goals is significant when compared to the deep schism that developed in the anti-Vietnam-war movement over its central demands.
The ACWC benefited from this anti-interventionist legacy of the Vietnam war, as a majority of U.
One significant controversy arose in the ACWC over political goals, following Congressional approval of $27 million in non-military aid to the Contras in 1985.
In the ACWC, the potentially explosive issue of support for revolutionary violence that had divided Leftists and pacifists in past antiwar movements (Muste, 1967) was eased by the fact that most Leftists did not publicly advocate revolution, and most pacifists did not condemn Nicaraguans for taking up revolution (AFSC, 1981).
These differences were minimized by the fact that both liberals and radicals promoted the more moderate themes, thus making such themes the common currency of the ACWC.
This division within the ACWC was played out mainly in Washington, where liberal lobbying groups did not want to be publicly associated with pro-Sandinista groups, even though they worked together in organizing grassroots lobbying campaigns.
To be considered a credible movement by the press and to generate enthusiasm within the movement, the ACWC needed to turn out sizable numbers of people at events across the country.
Any coordination of activities within the ACWC required a balance between respect for organizational autonomy and the need to create an efficient and effective campaign.
The most successful coordination that took place within the ACWC was on the legislative front.